Gossip a Mental Virus

What is the use of gossips? I see people wasting tons of time just talking what they heard from a friend of a friend about another friend. All this talk do nothing but to transmit a virus from mind to mind, and in the end all get sick.

I am intended to tell you a story about Socrates a well known philosopher, that I found it on Quora, related by an Italian blogger.

Socrates had the reputation of being of great wisdom. One day someone came to visit him and said:

-You know what I just heard about your friend?- Wait a moment, replied Socrates, before you tell me, I would like to give you a test, that of the three sieves.- The three sieves?

– Before telling something about others, it is good to take the time to filter what you want to say. The first sieve is that of truth. Have you verified that what you are going to tell me is true?

– No, I only heard about it …

– Very well. So you don’t know if it’s true. Let’s continue with the second sieve, that of kindness. Is that something good you wanna tell me about my friend?

– Oh no, on the contrary!- So you want to tell me bad things about him and you don’t even know if they’re true. Maybe you can still pass the test, there is the third sieve left, that of utility. Does it help me to know what this friend would have done?

– Not really.

.- So, concluded Socrates, what you wanted to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor useful. So why did you want to tell me?

So, next time when you want to tell a story about someone, just stop first and reflect about this beautiful lesson.